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Remarks by Ambassador, Permanent Representative of El Salvador, Mr. Joaquín Maza Martelli on the occasion of his appointment as President of the Human Rights Council


5  December 2016

Mr. President,
High Commissioner,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen:

First of all, I would like to extend my deepest appreciation on behalf of the people and the Government of El Salvador to the members of the Human Rights Council for electing me as President of the Council for the year 2017. In particular, I would like to thank the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean for endorsing my candidature.

El Salvador has been an intrinsic part of the creation and consolidation of the Multilateral System as a founding member of the League of Nations
as well as an original signatory of the San Francisco Charter that gave life to the United Nations System.

In January 2015, El Salvador joined the Human Rights Council for the first time. By joining the 47 member Council, El Salvador reaffirmed its commitment to promote and to defend human rights, to work openly with special procedures and to establish a permanent working relationship with civil society, all this, with a strong commitment in the promotion, development, and defense of Universal Human Rights.

In this regard, human rights constitutes a foreign policy priority of my country. These two years of intense and serious work as Members of the Human Rights Council have demonstrated our commitment, which we will continue in our Presidency, in search of consensus, harmony, close cooperation with all regional groups, as well as achieving support from civil society and other international bodies.

We are convinced that this is an opportunity to continue with the vision and mission of ensuring human rights in a consultative system where the primary interest for human rights prevails in any circumstance.

Assuming the Presidency of the Human Rights Council, is a distinct honor, not only for me but for my country as well.  A responsibility that I assume with great enthusiasm, reiterating our willingness to fulfill the tasks entrusted to us in General Assembly Resolution 60/251, and in particular:

  • Promoting universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind.
  • Address situations of violations of human rights, including gross and systematic violations.
  • Promote the effective coordination and the mainstreaming of human rights within the United Nations system.
  • The work of the Council shall be guided by the principles of universality, impartiality, objectivity and non-selectivity, constructive international dialogue and cooperation.

It is therefore crucial, to respect the institutional framework of the Human Rights Council, on the basis of full compliance with the Principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the rules of International Human Rights Law, by promoting an efficient and transparent administration, in the face of a difficult and worrying international situation; bearing in mind that there are children, women, migrants, displaced persons, refugees, minorities and vulnerable groups, whose human rights are violated.They compel us to improve administrative and management capacities and to provide immediate action and timely defense of human rights in any unprotected place.

It is not possible that budgetary constraints condition the Council's action. We can shorten our speeches, presentations and meetings, but we must never limit the Council in its raison d'être, on its essential foundation, the permanent defense of Universal Human Rights.

The Human Rights Council, as the Organ of the United Nations System, is primarily responsible for ensuring the human rights of all, without distinction of any kind, in a fair and equitable manner. Consequently, I believe that in order to achieve all the proposed objectives, it is necessary and essential for the effective participation of all States, to exercise tolerance and mutual respect among peoples. In this sense, it is

here, that cultural diversity and multilingualism must be essential instruments for the democratization of international relations and for the promotion of constructive international dialogue within the multilateral management of the United Nations as a whole.

I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to Ambassador Choi Kyonglim and to the members of the current Bureau, for their tireless efforts. Ambassador, your work has been fructiferous and we hope to count on your support, assistance and suggestions.

To the Secretariat of the Human Rights Council and to High Commissioner Mr. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, we ask, for your valuable counsel, guidance and cooperation in a task that belongs to everyone.

I wish to congratulate the new Council Members, who will accompany us in the daily efforts in favor of Human Rights in 2017, as well as the distinguished elect Vice-Presidents, who will promote the work of this Council at its next session.

To conclude, I would like to thank my Government, especially the President of the Republic, Professor Salvador Sánchez Cerén, for the trust that has been placed in me.

Thank you.